by Vatsal Kariya
Yavatmal, Maharashtra: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world came to standstill but our plates were not empty even during the long lockdown. That was because our farmers toiled to fill the warehouses with food grains. Inspired by farmers and India’s eagerness to become Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant), a middle-aged couple Vinod and Gita Trivedi, residing in Yavatmal, turned it around. They started organic terrace farming, which helped them earn a little extra money in these difficult times.
Vinod and Gita together run a homemade pickle business. They have been earning their livelihood by running this business for a long time. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were struggling with their business and lost a lot of customers. “I don’t think our pickle business will take off any time soon, at least not until next year or maybe longer,” said Vinod.
The idea of terrace farming clicked to Vinod when he heard the speech of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. In that speech, the Prime Minister talked about “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” and that’s what inspired Vinod to start his organic farming.
Vinod and Gita Trivedi’s Terrace Garden
At first, they started growing vegetables for themselves, but due to abundance in quantity, they decided to sell fresh vegetables to their neighbors and friends. “We just started organic farming with the idea of being dependent on ourselves, to be Aatmanirbhar but it has also helped us earn some money in these tough times,” said Gita.
They started studying and looking for things to learn about organic farming on the internet and also they asked some experts for help to get them started. They had to invest approximately Rs 6,000 to start terrace organic farming. This included all the materials right from soil to big hollow tins to organic fertilizers.
After a month all the vegetables started growing and then the frequency of vegetables increased eventually. They now grow vegetables like tomatoes, cauliflower, garlic, onions, spinach, coriander, eggplant, okra, and bottle gourd etc. By selling these fresh, chemical-free, and organic vegetables they earned enough to run their household and managed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. And they also donated vegetables to the poor who were infected by COVID-19.
Vinod said, “I think farming should be one of the things they should teach you in a school” and he added, “With the world evolving and changing so fast where the future remains uncertain, one should know how to grow their food.”
And of course, the food should be poison-free … grown organically!
About the Author:
Vatsal Kariya is a Journalism & Mass Communication, BA, Second Year student at Vishwakarma University Centre of Communication for Development, Pune. His article is the third award-winning entry in the Empowerment Story Competition organised in December 2020 by Vishwakarma University Centre of Communication for Development.